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Morgan Hill
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August 12, 2022

MHUSD changes policies for absent alert system in light of missing teen

In light of Morgan Hill missing teen Sierra LaMar’s disappearance, Morgan Hill Unified School District has changed its notification system to alert parents earlier in the day. 

Because of the requests from parents in district, MHUSD will now alert parents of an unverified absence from school at 10:30 a.m. and again at 6 p.m.

Previously, parents were only notified via an automated system at 6 p.m. LaMar, who attends Sobrato High School, was reported missing at 6:30 p.m., her parents were notified she was not at school through the automatic system at 6 p.m., March 16, about 11 hours after her last contact with a friend through text message sent at 7:11 a.m. that morning. 

Superintendent Wes Smith said earlier this month that the district is always looking to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

“Every year we analyze what can be better to continuously improve,” Smith said.

The district is also looking into alerting parents next school year through more frequent notifications via phone, email or text messages when the student has an unverified absence. 

Parents whose children attend middle or high schools in MHUSD can continue to log online through the Home Access Center site to be notified if their child is missing from a class period or missing from the entire day of school. The site allows parents to sign up for real-time email alerts. 

A letter in both English and Spanish was sent home last Friday to inform them of the new alert system for all MHUSD parents in the area not limited to only middle and high schools. 

According to Sobrato High School Principal Debbie Padilla, the school on average sees about 115 daily absences out of a total 1,600 students, not including students who cut class for a period. 

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